MLB announces exclusive deal with Topps

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Topps has signed an exclusive deal with Major League Baseball, and starting 2010 will have an exclusivity on MLB, club trademarks, logos and other intellectual property for use on baseball cards, stickers and other product categories featuring MLB players.

What does this mean? Basically that no other card manufacturers will be able to show photography of players in their actual MLB uniform or use team logos on their product. Topps is hoping that this exclusivity will appeal to a new generation of enthusiasts and restore their reign as the crown jewel of the sports collecting world.

he exclusive arrangement ends MLB’s 30-year relationship with Upper Deck, the other main player in the market, which retains licensing rights from the MLB Players Association. That enables Upper Deck to continue producing cards with players’ images, but team logos and such are out.